How to install Active Directory Domain Services

How to install AD DS
Table of Contents

What is AD DS?

Windows Server Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) is a technology that helps organizations manage and organize their network resources, such as computers, users, and files. It provides a central database where information about these resources is stored, making it easier to control access and permissions, enforce security policies, and ensure a smooth flow of data within a network. In essence, it is the digital backbone that keeps everything organized and secure in a Windows-based computer network.

Why AD DS?

You've been thinking about why AD DS is so important for enterprises, there are some points.

Centralized Management:

AD DS provides a centralized directory service for managing users, computers, groups, and other network resources. This centralization simplifies administrative tasks and ensures consistency in network management.

Authentication and Authorization:

AD DS enables secure authentication and authorization of users and resources within a network. It allows you to control access to resources based on user permissions, group memberships, and organizational policies.

Single Sign-On (SSO):

With AD DS, users can access multiple resources and applications using a single set of credentials. This improves user convenience and security by reducing the need to remember multiple usernames and passwords.

Group Policy:

AD DS includes Group Policy, which allows administrators to define and enforce security policies, software deployment, and configuration settings for users and computers across the network. This ensures a consistent and secure computing environment.

Installing AD DS

1. Log in to Windows Server 2022:

Make sure you have administrative privileges, and log in to your Windows Server 2022 machine.

2. Open Server Manager:

   - You can open Server Manager by clicking on the Windows icon in the taskbar and selecting "Server Manager" from the menu, or by searching for "Server Manager" in the start menu and launching it.

3. Add Roles and Features:

   - In the Server Manager dashboard, click on "Add Roles and Features."

How to install AD DS

4. Before You Begin:

   - The "Add Roles and Features Wizard" will open. Read the information on the "Before You Begin" page, and then click "Next."

How to install AD DS

5. Installation Type:

   - Select "Role-based or feature-based installation" and click "Next."

How to install AD DS

6. Select a Destination Server:

   - Choose the server on which you want to install the AD DS role and click "Next."

How to install AD DS

7. Select Server Roles:

   - Find the "Active Directory Domain Services" in the list of roles. Check the box next to it.

How to install AD DS

8. Add Features:

   - A dialog box will pop up asking you to add features required for Active Directory Domain Services. Click "Add Features" to include them.

How to install AD DS

9. Features:

    - You can skip this page by clicking "Next" as there are no additional features to select for this role.

How to install AD DS

10. AD DS Role:

   - After selecting the "Active Directory Domain Services" role, a window with information about the role will appear. Click "Next" to proceed.

How to install AD DS

11. Confirm Installation Selections:

    - Review your selections to ensure that the "Active Directory Domain Services" role is selected. Then, click on the "Restart" Checkbox  one pop-up will come up, click on "Yes" Then click "Install."

How to install AD DS

12. Installation Progress:

    - The installation process may take some time. You can monitor the progress on the "Installation Progress" page.

How to install AD DS

13. Results:

    - You should see an "Installation succeeded" message once the installation is complete. Click "Close" to exit the wizard.

How to install AD DS

14. Promote to Domain Controller:

    - After adding the AD DS role, you'll need to promote your server to a domain controller. You can do this using the "Promote this server to a domain controller" link in Server Manager.

How to install AD DS

How to install AD DS

Active Directory Configuration:

Configure the domain controller, including setting the domain name, domain controller options, and administrator credentials.

1. Deployment Configuration:

    - In the deployment configuration select "Add a new forest", then enter the domain name. My domain is, if you don't have a domain you can create any random domain over here.

How to install AD DS

2. Domain Controller Options:

    -Leave everything on default, and create a DSRM (Directory Service Restore Mode) Password.

This password should be different and more secure from your login password as this will be used when you remove any roles and features or try to reset the password.

How to install AD DS

3. DNS Options

    - You can skip this part as this is not important for now.

How to install AD DS

4. Additional Options

How to install AD DS

5. Paths

    - Here you can change the location of each folder if you want to. I recommend to leave it to default and click "Next."

How to install AD DS

6. Review Options

    - Review your selections and the changes you have made and click "Next."
How to install AD DS

7. Prerequisites Check

    - If you see the message with the green tick "All prerequisite checks passed successfully." this means you have correctly set the AD DS, Now click "Install" to begin installation.

How to install AD DS

8. Completion:

    - Once you install AD DS the server will restart, you will have successfully added the AD DS role, and your server will be functioning as a domain controller.

After the restart, you will see the user name like this YourDomainName\Administrator.

How to install AD DS

That's it! You've successfully added the Active Directory Domain Services role to your Windows Server 2022 machine and promoted it to a domain controller. You can now manage your Active Directory domain and user accounts as needed.

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